Archive for the ‘What Works’ Category

Hot spots & outreach in Delaware

November 24, 2017

This article describes data-driven initiatives by the Delaware State Police to target crime and traffic hot spots, as well as emphasize thorough preliminary investigations and community outreach. Interestingly, among the 50 states, the one in which the state police represent the biggest portion of all police is Delaware.


Police work can be a pain in the … back

November 18, 2017

This article reports a study underway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin aimed at determining whether police wearing an equipment vest, shifting some of the load away from the traditional belt, might help prevent or relieve strain on the lower back.

Proactive policing — what works

November 10, 2017

The National Academies has released a review of evidence on the effects of specific proactive policing strategies, including hot spots, focused deterrence, broken windows, and problem solving. Short-term reductions in crime are commonly found, with less evidence on long-term impact. “Backfire effects” on overall community relations are not common, but the review committee noted “the lack of data on the role of racial bias in proactive policing was startling.” A summary is available here and the full report is available here.

CAPS rebound in Chicago?

November 4, 2017

Beginning in 1993, Chicago implemented a major community policing initiative — CAPS, the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. An exhaustive 10-year evaluation reported beat meeting attendance at over a half-million residents, increases in public trust, and decreases in crime, disorder, and fear of crime. Starting in the mid-2000s, however, the city reduced CAPS funding in favor of other priorities. This article reports a proposed budget increase for community policing in FY 2018, possibly signaling a shift back toward the once-successful CAPS approach.

Policing at a crossroads

October 24, 2017

This video presents the opening law enforcement panel at the Cato Institute’s “Criminal Justice at a Crossroads” conference. Panelists include Chief Tom Manger, former Chief Ron Davis, and Sergeant Renee Mitchell representing the American Society of Evidence Based Policing.

“Secured by Design” yields 87% property crime reduction

September 29, 2017

A study by Police Scotland has found that 3,000 “secured by design” (SBD) residences had 1/7th the number of burglaries and thefts over a 10-year period versus comparable residences, according to this article. Information about the UK police SBD initiative is available here.

Power naps on the night shift

September 16, 2017

This brief video reports a study from the Netherlands on whether “power naps” (maximum 20 minutes) can help police remain alert on the over-night shift. Results indicated that police felt more alert and were 50% less likely to say they had “nodded off” while driving home after work.

Pros and cons of data-driven predictions

September 9, 2017

This article provides a balanced look at the use of data and algorithms to make predictions in criminal justice, including policing. It shows how decision making accuracy can be improved but also explains that it ultimately comes down to questions of values and fairness that can’t be settled by science.

Study: Workshops reduce domestic abuse

August 16, 2017

This article summarizes an experimental study of low-harm domestic abuse first offenders in Hampshire, UK. Men who attended 10 hours of small-group discussions were 35% less likely to reoffend and caused 27% less harm over a 12-month period than those in the control group who merely received conditional cautions. Officials hope to replicate the study in several other UK forces.

Speed camera effectiveness

August 11, 2017

This web page summarizes a recent systematic review of the impact of speed cameras, with links to the full study and advice for implementation. The review of 51 studies across 15 countries found, on average, a 52% reduction of vehicles exceeding the speed limit and a 19% reduction in collisions, with benefits exceeding costs by at least a 3:1 ratio.